There are two dates listed on the visa bulletin website for Chinese mainland-born EB-5 immigrant visa applicants: application final action dates for employment-based preference cases and dates for filing of employment-based visa applications, which are 01/15/2014 and 05/01/2015, respectively. Does this mean applicants who have an approved I-526 petition can submit the I-485 if their priority date is between 01/15/2014 and 05/01/2015? Or does the 05/01/2015 date only apply to visas submitted through the NVC, and not I-485s?
The dates for filing of the adjustment of status application assume that the I-526 has been approved. There is no concurrent AOS filing allowed for I-526. The USCIS makes a separate announcement monthly regarding whether the dates for filing or the final action dates may be used. In October and November of last year, USCIS accepted I-485s and allowed the dates for filing to be used. Since then, it has not and only the final action dates may be used.
The Department of State determines these dates based on past and projected volume of cases. It seems that there is a split between Adjustment of Status (I-485) and U.S. consulate/NVC cases. We would need to look at your specific situation to make a fully informed decision on how to move forward.
USCIS every month publishes whether they will use Date for Filing, or Final Action Date for filing adjustments. For October and November we could use DFF; so far this year, only FAD.
When the I-526 is approved it will show the priority date (this is the date that the I-526 was filed originally.)
A few months ago, President Obama issued an order to allow the EB-5 applicants whose I-526s have been approved to wait in the United States. So, there are two priority dates for the EB-5 applicants. Actually, this order is not valid, so the EB-5 applicants still need to wait for the priority date on the I-526 receipts.
I am not well-versed in the State Department visa numbers, and the Mainland China category is very confusing. Many practitioners will only answer questions on a "case by case" basis because of the complexities. I believe that the 01/15/14 date refers to applications with a date prior to that and that if you have one you may now apply for a visa with the NVC, I do not believe it refers to the I-485. As I said, it is often on a case by case basis so you may wish to consult immigration counsel.
DISCLAIMER: the information found on this website is intended to be general information; it is not legal or financial advice. Specific legal or financial advice can only be given by a licensed professional with full knowledge of all the facts and circumstances of your particular situation. You should seek consultation with legal, immigration, and financial experts prior to participating in the EB-5 program. Posting a question on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. All questions you post will be available to the public: do not include confidential information in your question.